Kings defenseman Slava Voynov charged with felony domestic abuse
The charge includes an allegation of causing great bodily injury. If convicted, Voynov faces a maximum of nine years in state prison.
"Mr. Voynov is extremely disappointed that the district attorney's office elected to file charges. Mr. Voynov maintains his innocence and looks forward to clearing his name in court. We remain confident."
Voynov was arrested in the early hours of Oct. 20 on suspicion of felony domestic violence after allegedly injuring his wife. The player took his wife to an area hospital to be treated for her injuries after the incident and was arrested there.
The NHL suspended Voynov indefinitely several hours after his arrest, a decision the Kings said they supported. He has continued to be paid during his suspension.
On Tuesday, Bill Daly, deputy commissioner of the NHL, released a statement regarding the charge filed against Voynov:
"We are aware of the actions taken today in California, which we will review and evaluate before making any decisions. Until further notice, the current terms of Mr. Voynov's suspension remain in place."
Los Angeles designated Voynov as a non-roster player on Nov. 11 and signed defenseman Jamie McBain to replace him. According to the Kings' website, teams can designate non-roster status to players not available to play "due to reasons other than injury, illness or disability.”
Voynov has been banned from all team activities but has been allowed to skate on their home ice and work out with Kings coaches on his own. He skated with assistant coach John Stevens the day before he was designated as a non-roster player.
The 24-year-old joined the Kings in 2011 and played in all 82 games last season, helping the team win the Stanley Cup. In the team's first six games this season, Voynov recorded two assists and averaged 23:11 of ice time.
Before last season, Voynov signed a six-year, $25 million contract extension.
Voynov's case was the first domestic violence incident in the NHL since the issue became a national topic in the wake of the Ray Rice controversy in the NFL. In the NBA, Charlotte Hornets forward Jeffery Taylor was suspended 24 games by the league on Wednesday for his domestic violence case.
Voynov is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 1.
- Ben Estes